Volume 22, Number 31 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 11 - 17, 2009
Bar complaints on Murray
Neighbors of Biddy Early’s on Murray St. are pushing the state to revoke the bar’s liquor license.
The neighbors say the bar is serving underage college students who make noise and vandalize property when they spill out onto the street.
“I’ve got a building to run and I’ve got folks that are disturbed morning, noon and night,” said Michele Moran, property manager of 50 Murray St. “Alcohol and young kids don’t mix.”
Moran said the bar’s patrons have broken windows at 50 Murray St. during street brawls and they leave a mess of cigarette butts, vomit and urine on the block. She has compiled a thick file of 311 and 911 calls, along with videos of disturbances.
After hearing from Moran and several nearby residents, Community Board 1 voted last month to ask the State Liquor Authority to revoke Biddy’s license. But the S.L.A. had just given the bar a two-year renewal several weeks earlier.
“We will look into it and take appropriate action,” said Mike Smith, S.L.A. spokesperson. Smith said the S.L.A. had not received any recent complaints on the bar, but Moran said she sent complaints in regularly.
Moran said she didn’t like to ask for the license to be revoked, but she felt she had no choice because the bar markets to such a young clientele. The $8 pitchers for beer pong players have made Biddy’s attractive to Pace University students, who laud the lax carding policies on review sites like Yelp.com.
The S.L.A. issued Biddy’s a violation for serving underage patrons in February and fined the owners $1,500. On a recent Saturday evening, the bartender did not appear to be carding.
Owner John Carey, reached by phone, said the bar did not have any recent violations and declined to answer further questions.
Moran said Carey has been quick to pay for damage his patrons caused at 50 Murray St., but unless he works harder to dissuade the young crowd, Biddy’s will continue to be a problem.
Philip Eskelin, a 50 Murray resident with two young children who are often woken up by the noise at night, said it made no sense to have an underage bar in the middle of Tribeca, an increasingly residential and upscale neighborhood.
“Beer pong is the root of all the evil,” Eskelin said. “It’s just too many people, and they haven’t learned to control themselves yet.”
(For the uninitiated, beer pong is a drinking game that involves tossing Ping-Pong balls into the opposing team’s cups of beer.)
Carey was scheduled to return to C.B. 1’s Tribeca Committee this week to report on any changes he has made in response to the community’s concerns.
— Julie Shapiro